This month we celebrate a foster who has been a regular with SAFe Rescue since 2019: Anna B! Over the years, Anna’s human family has taken in many feline broods–usually litters of kittens and their mamas, but also grown kitties looking for a place to stay on their way to their future homes. Anna’s household has experienced both the highs and the lows of taking care of Rescue cats, from the joy of kittens to the challenge of administering ringworm treatment. (Spoiler alert: It’s a lot of baths!)
Why She Fosters
Anna wanted her children to experience caring for animals but wasn’t ready to commit to one creature for 20 years. Fostering allows her and her family to support cats in need while giving her kids a chance to provide love for creatures of all shapes, sizes, and stages of development.
“I knew there was a great need for these animals, and we have the perfect place to be able to foster them,” Anna says. “We are so happy to help!”
Rewards + Challenges
One highlight for Anna and her family occurred when a new mama kitty joined their home. While Anna and her family are no strangers to kittens that are several weeks old, hosting a mama with newborn babies is a rare privilege. The whole family was very diligent about monitoring the mother cat, but Anna’s children especially stepped up to the task. It was an incredible learning experience for them as they witnessed what a good job the mama did looking after her young.
Times like those are rewarding, but foster life comes with challenges as well. Anna’s biggest challenge came while looking after a litter of kittens with ringworm, a fungal infection. The treatment involves giving frequent baths, which Anna quickly discovered was quite an adventure–especially with squirmy kittens who wanted nothing to do with water!
Undersocialized cats can also be challenging, especially with kids in the house who are eager to handle all the kittens all the time! Fortunately, Anna’s children have learned a lot since they started their fostering journey. Now at ages 11, 14, and 16, they understand that it’s a balance between engaging with the cats while they’re in foster care and letting them go when it’s time for them to find new homes. After all, when one group goes, it means a new set of kittens is on the way!
Advice to Future Fosters
To anyone considering fostering cats, Anna says, “Do it!” She recommends new fosters be ready and willing to be flexible, as they will likely come across a lot of different cases. Every group is unique, but there are so many valuable lessons to learn and so many cats who need help. It will not always be easy, but there is plenty of fun to be had along the way!